All this took place to fulfill what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet: “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel,” which means, “God is with us.” – Matthew 1:22-23
God used to walk with Adam in the Garden.
Then came the Fall. Sin separated us from God. It was (and still is) a great divide.
But Advent is our hope!
For century upon century, God’s people rebelled. Sin separated them again and again from God. Nevertheless, for century upon century, God (like a good parent) would repeatedly discipline … and then repeatedly forgive.
And while this cycle of rebellion-reproof-and-reconciliation played over and over, God’s prophets kept proclaiming that a Savior – the Messiah – would come.
And then it happened. First came an angel. Nine short months before Messiah’s birth, Gabriel proclaimed a name and title for this coming Savior: Emmanuel. It means, “God is with us.”
God used to walk with Adam in the Garden. Now God was walking again with his people … along the shores of Galilee … amid the streets of Jerusalem … in the midst of infected lepers … to the dinner tables of tax collectors and sinners.
Sin separates us. But God (re)unites us.
That’s the message of Advent. God’s presence is here. It’s a present reality. Christ is come. And yet … it’s not fully here, is it? We just get glimpses. We still see through that mirror dimly. But … we now have hope. God used to walk with us in the garden. Our sin pushed and continually pushes him away. Yet advent is promise that God comes down from heaven to dwell among us (see John 1:14). And for those who hope and believe, his presence will be without end.
That’s the hope. That’s the promise. That’s Advent.
In Christ’s Love,
a guy who could fit
into a Bible story
(when Christ comes
tonight to the table of
this tax collector and
sinner, I’ll have my
Advent candles lit)